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Full text of "The Dongan Charter of the City of New York, 1686"

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1686 A' 


^C 13 031 




•m*: DCNSibK ciiAiiTi : ciTt or m:i''iQ^:i ■ \ ih^A 

lltOUA^ OONtlAlJ Ll«ut« Cov«mor ttnd Vice Adndral of !<dw York pO /^ / 
and its D»pend«neioa uad«r his k«aje8ty Jauaes the Second by tho Or&oe 
of God of iSnglaadf Seotl&nd France and Ireland King Defender of tlie 

faith — To all to iihom this ahall eeae 3£NBrn! QH.J^INO 

vaiiSHKAo tho City of Hew York i« an aneient city within the eaid Pro- 
vince - ---------- KNO# YK therefor that I the eaid Itioiaae 

Oongan by virtue of the^Co?irniaeion and Authority unto ae giv«i and 
power in no residing at the hurable petition of the now liayor Alder- 
■en and Cowannalty of the eaid city of New York and for divers other 
good oaueee and considerations me thereunto nieviBg have given, granted 
ratified and confirmed mid by these preeeato for and on behalf of 
hie oest Sasred kajestyaforesaid, his heirs, successors nnd aesigne 
do give« grant ratify and confirm unto the eaid feiayor Aldemen and 
Comeaalty of the stiid city all and every eueh and the eane lilrerties, 
privileges and franchiees, rights, royalties, free custoras, juris- 
dictions and iKuaunities wliioh they by the narae of the l^yaor Aldnaen 
•ad Gon&onalty or otherwise have anciently held ezeerised or enJoyed| 
---- -------- cud the aforeeaid public buildings accomo- 
dations tr'i\j conveniences in the said city (that is to say) the afore- 
said City Jioil or State House ----••- •---•-•• and 

alee all and every the etreete, lanee, highways and alleye within the 
eaid eity of New York and Maahattftn leland aforesaid for the public 
use and eervice of the eaid kayer Aldermen and Conkrionalty of the 
•aid city and of the inhabitants of Manhattan Isaland aforeeaid 
and travellere thore, togetther with full po^^er license nnd author- 
ity to the eaid Uyaer Aldermen and CoBnaonalty and their successors 

forever to establish, appoint, order eeid direct the establiehing, 


laying out, ordering amwidin^ and repairing; of all etreete, lanee, 

alleye, hi^ways, watereourees, ferries and bridgeein and throut^hout 

the said City of New York and kanhattan Island aforeeaid neoeesary, 

needfull and convenient for the inhabitants of the eaid city and Una* 

hattea lealnd aforeeaid and for all travellere and paesengere there. 

Provided always that thie eaid lieenee —-*••••*— be not extended 

or be cenetnied to extend to the taking away of any per eon erpereonSe 

or their 
right er property without hie her consent er by eeae known law 

of the eaid Province* -- -------------,---•• 

imd alee l do for and on behalf of his Uoet Sasred kajesty 

aforeeaid, hie heire and suocessore, grant to "ttio ttayer Aide 

4 :::^4i^9 

wmd C«aB«n«lty of the said City of H«w York and their aucceaeors* 
by theea present8» that»for the better govemiaent of the said city 
liberties uid precincts thereof^ tliere eholl ba forever hereafter 
vithin the said city* a Mayor and aeeerder* To^o) Clerk and six 
jildaraeB and six Assistants* to be appointed* nominated* elected* 
chosen and seom as horeinafetr ie particularly and res eetively 
■entiened* «ho shall be forever hereafter ealledthe Idayor 
Aldcntstt and Coaiaenalty of the City of Nev Yerk; and that there 
shall bQ forever one Chaiberlain or Tlreasurer* one Sheriff* one 
Coroner* one Clerk of the Uarkct*one Kig^ Constable* seven Sub* 
constables and one Marshall or Sergeant at Uaoe to be appointd 
shosea and svom in aaaner hereinafter laentioned. 

ANO 2 do by these preeeHts •— — »— declare* constitute* grant 
and appoint that the kayor* Reoerder* Alderaaa and Assistants of the 
said City ef Nev York for the tiae being ••*«•*• and their euc* 
esssers forever hereafter be and ehall be by force of these presents 
ene body corporate and politic in deed fact and naae by the nasM ef 
the Mayor Aldenesn and Cemienalty ef the City ef New Yerk* •«— — — 
(providee far perpetual succession* use ef eeal* ri(^it to sue tmd be 
suede te«*} 

AND further XNO'f TK that I have aseigned* aawied* erdained and 
eenstituted and by these presnte do aoeign*neisek ordain and conetitute 
■ieholae Bayard* new Mayer of the said City of tJew York to be preeent 
INiyor ef the said City and that the said Niehelas Bayard shall re* 
■aia and continue in tho office of Mayor there until another fit pwr^ 
sen ehall be appointed end etfom in the eaid office according to the 
usage and custom of the eaid city nnd as in and by these preeents 
is berafetr aentioaed and directed* (Here follow siailar appointaents 
te the ether offices mentioned except sonstabloe) 

AND I do by these preeeats grant to the said Mayor Aldermen and 

CsoBsaalty ef thesaid City ef New York and their successors that 

the Mayor aecorder Alderaan and Aseistants for the tiae bein^ or the 

Mayer Rsoerder and any three or taere ef the Alderman and any three or 

■sre ef the Assistants for the tiae being* be and shall be sailed 

the CoaasB Ceuaeil ef the said city| And that they or the greater 

power and 
part ef thsa eh&ll er any have full authority by virtue efthese 

preeente* frea tiae to tiioe te call and held Ceoaioa Council within 

the Co«Mi Couaoil Rouee or City Hall of the said city and there* as 

eccaeiea shall be*te aeke laws* ordera* erdiaaacee and conetitutione 

tii3a as to tham shaUsatB n«o«ssary and conYaniaat (Not r«pu|paat 
to the proogativa of his Snarod Uajasty aforesedd, his heirs 
and aueoassoz'B, or to any law of the Kingdom of England or other the 

lava of the General Assaobly of the Province of NevYork) — — 

vhieh lava, ordera, ordinanoes and const! titutiona so by them mada 
aa aforeaaid ^sll be and renKdn in force for the spo^e of three aontha 
and no longer unleaa they shall be allo^^ed of &nd confinaed by the 
Oovemor and Counoell for the time being * 

iind I do further on the behalf of hie Saflred Majcatyaforaaaid^ his 
heirs cmd successors appoint and tyrant that the said Ceomon Co^noill of 
the aeid city for the tiiae beiagas often as they nake* ordain and 
aatablish auoh lavs^ordere* ordiaancas and constitutions as aforesaid 
shall or nay make ordain« lindt, provide, aet is9>oaa and tax reasonribla 
finoa and amereiaaenta againat end upon all persons offending: against 
such lavs* orders* ordiaaaeas and constitutions as aforesaid •->--- 

.jid - do by these presents appoint and ordaine the assigning* naauiing 

afld appointoent of the Mayor and Sheriff of the aaid city that shall be aa 

follov^'eth(vist) upon the feeat day of St« Uiohael the Archangel yearly the 

(14th of Cotobar) Uautenent Uovonfior ar CooBiandar in Chief for the tiaa 

beini^ by and with the advice of his Council shall neaiaate and appoints 

aueh peraon aa ha ahall think fit to be Uayor of the aaid oity for the 

year next ensuing find one otht^r person of sufficient ability in aatate. 

and of good eapoolty in understanding to be Sheriff of the aaid city of 

Manr York for the year next anauing 

And that auch Peraon aa ahall be named* asaiffied and appointed nayor 
•ad such person as shall be named* assigtu-d end appointed S)ierif fof the 

•aid city aa aforesaid ahall ia the fourtaanth day of Ootobert>ian next 

following take their savaral and reapeotivaCorporal oatha before the 

Oevemor t^d Ceuneilfor the tioe being for tlie due exaoution of their 

reapeotivo officaa as aforeaaid and thqt the aaid Uayor and Sheriff aa 

to be nofldnatod aasigned and apppainted aa aferaaaid ahall rooainand 

eontinua in thoir said raapactiva officasuntil another fit peraon ahall 

ba aoadnated* appointed and avem •••••-••• 

And furtharthat according to the now uaaga and ouatoa of the aaid aity 

the aaaord«r* Tavn Clark* and Clerk of the Uarkai of ya aaid city ahall be 

parawMi of good capacity and undaratandingand Mieh paraons aa hie Uost 

Sasrad Uajaaty -•-•*• ahallappoint and oonndaaionata* and for defeat 


of 8ueh app«iiitiB«ttt and OMHAssion&tslng • - • - « to be such n»rsQfi &s 
the Idtut* OoYemor or Coomander in Chief of tiio said ProYincef or the tiae 
being ahedl eippoint aad coattnistionate ^ieh peraoss •••.•• ••hall have 
bold Slid enjoy the said offices accordiag to the tener end effect of 
their said eenideeioBs and not ethervlse* 

And further thatthe Heeerder» Tevn CXerk« Clerk of the Uarkety AldermeBf 
A8sistante« Ch^aaberloinp Hiij^ Constables, Petty Constables and all other 
of ficere ef the said eity» before they or any of them shall be adsdtted to 
enter uponond execute yeir reepootive offieee, shall be worn faithfully 
ie exeeute the eame before the uayor ex* any three or i^re of the Aldermen 
for the tine being --••-•••---•-•- 

AND further I do by these presents f^ant for and on behalf of his 

■03t Sacred tiajeety aforesaid, his heirs and successors, that the bayor and 

Recorder of tho said city for the time bein^^ and three or more of the Alder* 

■en of the said city, not exeeedint; fiTe« shall be Justices and keepers of 

the peace of his uost Scared Itajeety, his heirs and successors, and Justices 

to hear and detenaiae mttors and oausos vithin the said city and liberties a 

and precincts therof 
Mkd they or any three or aero of the% thereof the Mayor and Recorder 

or one of th«n for the ti«e l»eing to bexthere, shall and nay forever hereaf* 

terhave pover and sut^iorityby virtue ef these preeents to hear and detendne 

all aad all aanaer of petty larcenies, riots, routs, oppressions, extortions 

and ether ireepaaoee and offenses vhatsoerer vithin the eaid city of Kev York 

and the liberties and preolncts aforeeaid from time to time arising aad 

happeoiag aad #iieh ariee or happen aad any waye belong to the office of 

Justice of the Peace, and the correction and puniihment of the offenaee 

aforeeaid aad every ef then according to the lanra of £nglandand the laee 

of the said i*roTince» and to do and execute all other thia;'s in the eaitf 

city, liberties and preoiaeis aforeeaidand so full and In aaple manner 

as to the ICevdeeioners agsi0B and to be aeaigned for the keeping of the peace 

in the eaid Couaty ef Nei^erk doth or may belong 

a:4D aore over I do by theae presents for and on bohalf of his most Seared 

aajeeiy aforeeaid,, his heire end eucceesors, apnoint that the Alderaoa, 

Aaeeietaats, High Constable and Petty Constablea vithin the eaid city be 

yearijf ehoeen en the feaet day of ST* Eiehael the Areheagel tomryr (vst) 

•ae OdamsB one Assistaat aad oae Coastable from eaeh respective ward 

•ad one eenatalile for eaeh division in the out ward in euch public place 

ia the eaid raapeetive varde ae the Aldermen for the time bein^ for eaeh 

aard ehaU direct aad appoint, aad that tho Aldomen, Aeeioiante and Petty 

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Constables bo ehoaim by majority of voic«8 of tho inhabitants of each 

«ard» and that tho Higli Conatablo bo a pointed by thd U:<yor of tho »aid 

city for iht^ timo (>eing« nnd that the Ch^onborlnin shall bo choa^i on th« 

said feast day in the City Hall of the said city by thie liayor and 

idderasn tmd Aasistantaor by the i^&yor or three or more of the Alderaum 

and three or moro of the Assistants of the said oity for tha time being* 

Imd further X do by these presents, for and on bohalf of his 

most Sacrsd kajesty aforosaid« his heirs end suooossoro, require and 

strictly charge and command that the Sheriff, Tomi Clirirk, Clork of the 

Peace, High Constable, Pstty Constables and all other subordinate officers 

in tho said city for th© timo boing» and every of them jointly und 

seTerally as oauae ^lall require, ahall attend upon the said 

bayor, /ieoorder and •ildermen of tho said city for the time being and every 

any of them, iiooording to the duty of their resosetivs places in and 

about the the oxecutint^ of such tho oonnands, precepts, warrants and pro* 

etsa of t>i&a and evry of theia as belongoth and apportaineth to be done 

or executed} and that th<3 aforesaid Uayor, Recorder and Aldermen and every 

Of then as Justicas of tho Paace for the tiuie bein^x by their warrants 

mil tmd every peraonand persona for high treaa:^n,or petty treason, or for 

suspicion therof, or for oth'^r felonies ^Niiatsoover, and all oalofoctors 

and disirubers of the peaoaand others offenders for other ^niadeuuienors 

•ho shall be apprehctnoed ^thin the said cityor libertios thorof, 

shall and nu>.y send and coiwdt or oausetobo sent and eoramitted to the 

eaanen gaolef the said oity, there to remain and be kept in safe custody 

by the keeper of the ssM gaolor his deputy for tho time being until 

•ffandar and offsndars shall lawfully be deliverde thencar— — — • 

And further I do grant and conflrn for and on behalf of his moat 

8fl»red kajaaty aforeoaid, hia heirs nnd suecassors, thut the said Mayor 

of the said city for the time being and no ether (according to the 

usage and ouston practised in the said oity of New York in the timos 

of Ity predoeassors tho ssvernl Lieutenants (}overnors and Coromrindera 

in Chief of this Province) Shall have power and authority 

to give and grant lieenoas annually under the public seal of the said 

eity to all tavorn koroers^ Iiink«)epers, Ordinary koet>ers. Victuallers 

and all public sellere of wine, atronj waters, cider, beer or any othctf* 

sort of liquors by ratailvlthln the oity aforesaid, Manhattan Island 

or the libertids and precinots thorof; and that it shall end nay be 

lavfull to and for tho said kayor of the said oity for t)ie time being 

to ask, domand and racaive for suoh lioonoa by hin to be given and ^an* 

ia as aforasoidsueh sura or sums of laney as he and tho person to whoa 

such license shall be glTan or granted shal agree for , not exceeding 
tha sum of thirty shillings for each license, all M^ioh money as by the 
said kayor shall bo so received shall be used and applied to the publio 
use of the said aiyaor. Aldermen and Commonalty of the said city of New 

And kno'j? yet that I for the better govormaont of the said city 
---••----- give aiid grant to the etdd l£ay©r, Aldermen and 

Cooaonr'J.ty of the aedd city and their successors, that the Mayor, Recorder 
and i\ldex*iaen, or the liayor and and any throe or more of the Alderoen 
for the time beittt^, oholl from tiae io tine end at all tiiaes thorafter 
have full power ond authority under the common seel to amke Free 
citizens of the said city and liberties thei-of, and no person or persons 
iriiatsoever ittiier tiian such free citizens shall hereafter use any art, 
trade, mystery, or oienual occupation within the said city liberties and 
precincts thereof, saving in the tiu»es of faira there to be kept and 
during the continuaace of such faira only ••----•-.------ 

provided that no person or persons shtll be made froc as aforesaid but 
•uoh cls are his iiajesty*e natural boril subjeot^or such as shall first be 
natur&lizedby Act of Gneral Assoi&bly or shall have odtained letters 
of denizatlonunder the hand of the Lieutoaant Governor or Coraioander in 
Chief for the tiiae being and Seal of the Province; and that all per- 
sons to be made free as aforesaid shall r^nd do pay for the public use of 
the said Myeor, iddermen and Coianona}.ty of the said city such sum and 
sums of money asas heretofore hath oaen use and accustomed to be paid 
and received on their being admitted freemen as aforesaid, providedit ie 
not exeeeding the sum of five pounds. 

( Vne chert sr then confers on the Uayor, Aldermen and ComnenaXty 
of the city the power to take hold and dispose of rela estate not to 
exceed the yearly value of one thousand pounds; and to have three market days 
a week) 

And disc X do by these presents for and on behalf of his most Sacred 
Majesty afereeuid his huire and successors i^rent to the ftjeyer, Alder- 
aen and Cousnonfdty of tl^ie said oity that they and their sucoesscra end 
ataigns shell and say at any time or tlraee hereafter when it to them shall 
■eea fit and convenient take in, fill and make up and lay out all and 
•iagular the land and groundin and about the said city and Island Manhat- 
iana and the same to build upon or make use of in any other manner or 
way aa to then ahall aeem fit as far into the rivers therof, end that 
aneoapaaa the smae, aa low water mark aforesaid* 

{Ifyw^r Recorder and Aldwnaan or any three of th(»ii of v^iom th« 
Uayor or Hecorder shall be one made a Court of Coiiiraon pXons in all 
"actions of debt^ troopass, trespass upon the case, detinun, eject- 
ments and othsr person^:! actions, ITie charter then confinas upon the 
Uayor Aldermen and Cossaonalty all customary ''privileges franchises and 

pevers% reserves certain property to the crown and forbids the corpora^ 

pious imd 
doin^ anythinj^ to eause the waste or mise^plication of charitable trusts) 

In Tdtness n^er^f I have caused these presents to be entered in the 

Secretary's office en the seal of tho said Province to be horounto 

affixed^ this seven and twentieth day of April in the second year 

of the reign of his uost Sacred kajesty afresaid and in the year of our 

Lord Ood one thousand six hundred and eighty-six* 


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